I'm new to DIY so I need help. I have to down size our home to sell it

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So how do I update it without a lot of money? I'm 81 tomorrow so I am not able to lift heavy stuff or climb up high ladders. Nobody that is able to spare time lives close enough to help much. Just want ideas and how to paint and make it sellable. Some of our dark brown furniture could get money in our yard sale. No hurry, but help. Books to read or sites to visit will help a lot.
q i m new todiy so i need help i have to down size our home to sell it, home decor, Old cabinet all wood really old but good
Old cabinet all wood really old but good
q i m new todiy so i need help i have to down size our home to sell it, home decor, Part of a huge dining set with table for 8 and big heavy wooden chairs 2 captain
Part of a huge dining set with table for 8 and big heavy wooden chairs 2 captain
q i m new todiy so i need help i have to down size our home to sell it, home decor, Just part of the chair there s 8 of them
Just part of the chair there's 8 of them
  35 answers
  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Apr 28, 2015
    May I make a few suggestions before you decide to do big jobs such as painting and such. First, from your pictures I see a lot of small knick knacks and glasses and such. I would clear them all away and declutter your furniture so when the time comes, your furniture will look better in the rooms...also I would suggest you may want to contact an Estate Sale company in your area to see if it is feasible to have them do a sale to get rid of extra pieces you will not need in the future. They will do the lifting and moving if necessary when they hold the sale...or purchasers will take the pieces away. Much less work for you! These are just a few suggestions which you can start to do on your own to get rid of stuff you will not need anyway if you are downsizing. Good Luck!!
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    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Thanks a lot . Great advice. My husband has a serious heart problem and at 88 yrs old he is reluctant to doing anything that involves work by others. This has to be done. I am not a little old senile person, just limited regarding heights and lifting heavy things. Hard work is fine, but having no family close but friends who work and can't help a lot.i can't put too much cash into hiring professionals although I paid large amount of cash on great furniture and genuine antiques English China etc. I came from England 45 yrs ago and brought my mums things too , now I must get money to provide for whatever future we have left in comfort . Thanks so much for any help eg. Suggestions you think of . Joyce
  • 1388315 1388315 on Apr 28, 2015
    I agree, think smaller, remove all personal items that are small, either box them or go ahead a give them to family members ( even a small yard sale now, with help from your friends can work in your favor). You can also call around for auction house's to see if they might do consignments on your thing you might get a better pricing for your great looking items. as for the house just contact some ( more then one ) cleaning company's for a quote, this could be a smaller price and you might not even need to paint ( a good cleaning always does wonders) and make you feel a lot better about moving.. Best of Luck..
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      I have had a few great suggestions that I will review and pick the things I can do and maybe you can see the reply I gave to Jan Loeahr. I can't answer all but I will certainly try some of the wonderful ideas. Joyce
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 28, 2015
    @Joyce brown wow, what a daunting task you have ahead of you. Check to see if there are any organizations to assist seniors in your area. Some businesses have special senior rates. You may want to check with this organization to see what is available. http://www.seniorresourcealliance.org/resources/central-floridas-aging-service-providers/ You can start by clearing off all of the surfaces cleared off the tops of your furniture. You will need many boxes. You may have to take some furniture out of rooms to make the rooms look larger. If you have a real estate agent, they sometimes provide access to professional stagers to provide advice in preparing your home for a viewing. Be prepared - they look at the home from the eyes of a hopeful buyer, so what they say is not condemning you at all, but sometimes it may hit close to home to hear them. Then there are also professional stagers you can hire to do all of the work for you. So start with the senior resource alliance for help. Keep us posted and you can gather more info for your issues.
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Thanks Gail I am going to see the ideas that you mentioned will work for me. Please can you look at the replies I sent to Carmen, and Jan. I would love to get the tips and ideas together and start the ball rolling . I am going to try answer the other ladies who were kind enough to help me. I don't usually have all the clutter around but I was preparing for a party when the photos were taken. Best excuse I have. Joyce
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Thank you from Florida . I will reply to all the ladies in time but I've replied to some if you could see that it will explain my situation. Joyce
  • Charlene Charlene on Apr 28, 2015
    Happy 81st birthday! I agree that decluttering will always make a huge difference, it makes a place look bigger and less personal items will help a potential buyer envision their belongings in the home. if you don't mind taking on the task of painting ...then paint walls in a neutral color and add splashes of color in the assessories. I love your side board by- the- way,
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Thanks Charlene , shh! I am just a recycled teenager who needs help and I have replied to some ladies so could you look at my replies to them as it includes your ideas too. Joyce
  • Heliane Ripley Heliane Ripley on Apr 28, 2015
    Remove all nicknacks, all personal photographs . all lace doilies, all pet toys and pet beds should be packed away and put out of site. Buyers need to be able to view their own things in there and not feel like they are invading a private space.
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Good advice Heliane, I am de cluttering as I speak. I don't usually have so much stuff around nd no toys or pets stuff to worry about. Please see the replies to the other ladies who kindly gave good advice which I will use as much as I can. Joyce
  • Heliane Ripley Heliane Ripley on Apr 28, 2015
    And the silk flowers need to go too.
  • Lucy Nunn Lucy Nunn on Apr 28, 2015
    Other than removing the personal items, as everyone has already suggested, your house is relatively neutral and sellable. Are there vertical blinds on a window to the right? I would have them removed. Inexpensive drapes from JCP or other places are preferable to verticals these days. It looks pretty good otherwise.
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    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 29, 2015
      Thanks Lucy and the blinds are all the huge windows and French doors which open from bedroom. Dining room, kitchen all open to go onto the Patio some mirrored full length and some with neutral colors of the room they are in. 4 of them and at each of the windows (4) at the front room . Same in bedrooms and bathrooms (2) matching color scheme and I am reluctant to replace them with cheaper items if I can avoid it. Carpets are beige and cleaned regularly and we don't wear shoes in doors so I will have to write down the answers to my many questions and great ideas that will work. Thanks so much everyone. Keep the ideas coming now you know my problems and crazy collections.
  • Carol Tanner Carol Tanner on Apr 29, 2015
    Your realtor can help you find a staging company who will come in and pick and choose the pieces of furniture that will make your house put its best foot forward. They also can arrange for storage of the pieces that you want to keep but that they do not want to use for the staging. Use an estate sale company to get rid of the rest They usually charge you a percentage of the proceeds so no money is needed up front. They also will do the heavy lifting. Your husband will just have to get used to accepting help from others.
  • Krakle Krakle on Apr 29, 2015
    Went through this experience last year. The Best Advice was to remember you are showcasing your house, not your style. The less you there is the more a potential buyer can see their style. Less will definitely be more.
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 30, 2015
      Thanks for the advise. I don't usually clutter but in the photos I was preparing for our anniversary party and it was the only photo handy. I'm not good at computer or taking photos with it either. Duh! Thanks .
  • CK CK on Apr 29, 2015
    I would be happy to help (for free) with ideas to help you get your home ready for sale. I've done home staging for others as well as our own home and it's been very successful :-) You can contact me via my website and we can converse via email. My mom's 82 so I understand your dilemma. ;-) www.cndesigns.biz
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    • CK CK on Apr 30, 2015
      @Joyce brown OK..... Let's get that great home ready for sale :-) Excited to hear from you soon.
  • Barb Witherspoon Barb Witherspoon on Apr 30, 2015
    You could hire someone who does estate sales to help you. In our area, they charge 30% of what they sell. They stage, sell, and clean up afterward. We plan to do this when our parents, who are also in their 80's, downsize. Lots of other good suggestions here to help you stage. Also Houzz recently had an article on their website about staging your house to sell it. Lots of good ideas there. Seems that the #1 thing, though, is to clear out as much clutter as possible. My parents have so much stuff in their house that my realtor friend told me the house would show better if it were empty.
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 30, 2015
      That advise is good , I hate to part with expensive furniture we invested in nd kept it looking very good. I don't want a lot of people walking through the house as we have pale carpeting throughout and we did it to get ready to sell.i will have to think about the good ideas I want to have a big yard sale so I will de clutter and I give lots to charity so it will be easier to sell when I down size . Thanks again.
  • Krakle Krakle on Apr 30, 2015
    Well you are sure good at replying... most people don't bother. You are moving anyway so just do your packing/removing now, getting help from friends or paying, so you only do it once. Its not much to then pay for storage, or as we did, simply move extra furniture and boxes into the garage... You'll be doing work that has to be done anyway, and if you do paint or need to move the remaining furniture around... you'll have more room! Good luck. Also, I've viewed houses where they have those little over the shoe slippers, and everyone took their shoes off when showing my house...
    • Joyce brown Joyce brown on Apr 30, 2015
      Good idea about the slipper things. I will look into that. I am hoping to put our home on the market later this year . My husband has a serious problem with his heart so he is reluctant to move after spending so much on our place, we expected to spend the rest of our life here but he died and had to be resuscitated and can't have any more surgeries due to his condion and he absolutely loves this place with everything he ever worked for and wanted..I don't know how much my reply is confidential so I can't go into details
  • Kaioverbeck Kaioverbeck on May 03, 2015
    Before a showing, remove all family photos. People need to imagine themselves in this home. A realtor will encourage the local community of realtors to give their opinions on how well the house will sell and what needs to be done.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 04, 2015
    Love your dining room set. If your husband is very attached to the home, a move will be very traumatic and may hasten his demise. I hope this does not sound harsh as it is not intended to be so. Personally, when I die I hope it is in my own home among the things I love. Could you look into getting in someone once a week or such to monitor his health? In the meantime, you could start clearing out cluttery things, downsize the kitchen stuff like cookie sheets, etc. Then when you do move, a lot has been done and you can better deal with the remainder or, as suggested, hire estate handlers. Most realtors will emphasize clean (windows, everything), reducing clutter, making repairs to things like sticking doors, etc. To avoid people tramping through willy-nilly during an open house, go with "by appt. only". Slippers are a great idea. Lots of great tips have been given.
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    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 05, 2015
      @Joyce brown I'm sure it will go fast with these great features. Would sell the dining room set if you have to on Kijiji or another site - too lovely for a yard sale. Good luck on your sale and your move to a smaller, more manageable home. My best wishes for your husband's health. Very trying.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jun 05, 2015
    Just a few suggestions: Store, donate or throw away nick knacks. The less you have on furniture, the bigger the rooms will look. If you can afford it, have the lawn cleaned and professionally cut. Add some plants to your walkway, have windows, fans and baseboards cleaned. The yard or garage sales ideas are great to minimize the accessories, furniture and clutter or have a professional do an estate sale. The less you have left, the easier your move will be. I Googled "what to do when downsizing your home". There are lots of good articles to guide you. Best wishes for your husband.
  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jun 05, 2015
    Liliana is right on with all of her suggestions. If you have a digital camera, take photographs of each section of your rooms & load them into your computer. You will be able to see what the room will look like through someone else's eyes. The photos really show clutter, crowding, patterns, etc. Remember, we all love our stuff, but no one else does! Think show house not store house. When selling your home, you must stop thinking of it as "your home" & start thinking of it as a product to sell. Clean, neat, spare, neutral. Light & bright sells. Busy patterns & dark colors distract from what you want people to see--the features & size of your home. You don't have to get rid of what is important to you, just pack it away & store it. This will already be packed when your home sells. Family pictures, mementos, & other personal items are not gone forever, you are just giving them a nice rest in a storage facility until you unpack them in your new place to enjoy once again. Can you tell I was a realtor in my former life? I also redo homes to sell. I wish you every happiness in your new cozier home.
  • Christina Dorrego Christina Dorrego on Jun 15, 2015
    My mom tried to sell her home in 2007. A couple who looked at it then saw all the clutter my father had accumulated and walked away. When he passed away in 2012, she wanted out of the mortgage and closer to me. She put almost everything in storage or sold it with estate people (and got screwed IMHO) and was out in 8 months. The same couple came to see, and found the UNCLUTTERED version was what they wanted. They purchased the house, after seeing it uncluttered. It may help you to sell the place with the bare minimum bland furniture in place, so those who are interested will see their own stuff there. edit for spelling
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Feb 08, 2016
    Yes, clear out the doo-dads and personal photos, all decorative items. Sell what you want ASAP and if rooms are still full of furniture, arrange to have a good portion moved or stored. Same with your kitchen stuff and closets; they should appear rather empty so buyers think there is lots of storage room. Then clean as if your life depended upon it. Hire some help if it's too much for you. Let it go and don't be emotionally attached to the stuff. Nothing can take your precious memories. Good luck. I'd help if I were nearer. (I sold for asking price!)
  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Feb 09, 2016
    I would pack up everything you want to keep, put it in storage, Have a indoor sale(advertize), use the table as your display, price everything as you put it out. Give away as much as possible to friends and family. Then have painting done.i personally like to look at houses empty, but if you want you can leave a few pieces or just rent a few pieces to display.May want to check with a local auction house for possibilities of a sale.They would take it all and save you lots of time and effort. Many blessings with you move.
    • Liz Liz on Apr 28, 2016
      @Ginger the farm gal These are great ideas. It's important to select what you want to keep and temporarily put them in storage so they won't get mixed in with the sale of other items. We hired a reputable estate sales firm (With many 'checked' references for my parents' sale.) Then, we hired a reputable cleaning group to come in and clean everything from top to bottom, carpets cleaned, too. Then, we hired painters to paint rooms in neutral colors. Happy Birthday, Joyce! Yes, blessings on your new move. Moving from your home is an adjustment, but it can be done well, with the least amount of stress.
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Feb 10, 2016
    March 2016 issue of Consumer Reports has an excellent article of things to do to the house and projected return.
  • Pgl Pgl on Apr 29, 2016
    Do you a Boy Scout troop in your area? Church youth group? Or a ladies circle or How about a Christian Ministry , if you are willing to donate to them what you no longer need I am sure they will come and move anything for you......stay away from Good will [ they are not a non profit group]
  • Wal17313092 Wal17313092 on Jan 09, 2017
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  • Sarah Walker Sarah Walker on Jan 11, 2017
    You poor sweetheart! Ask your nearest local church and friends to help de-clutter, prepack and clean everything as much as possible. Maybe the will be willing to paint too. Removing as much personal mementos as possible will help to freshen up and simplify the efforts. Best wishes.
  • Dbu8317243 Dbu8317243 on Jan 16, 2017
    Please be very careful if you decide to contact any of these numbers being given out. You have just shown us some beautiful furniture, and unfortunately there are people that will take advantage of you after seeing what nice things you have. As mentioned by a few others, I also think you should try to get help from your church, a local ladies group, or the boy scouts in your area just to be sure you remain safe. Please be careful when giving out your phone number and address and if you plan to meet someone, meet in a very public place with lots of people around....and preferable not by your self.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 16, 2017
    A good realtor will solve all these issues for you. They will make plenty on comission to help you from the start.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 16, 2017
    Get yourself a good realtor who you trust. They will help you decide what needs to be done and help resolve all these issues before hand as they will make a tidy commission when you sell. They know what you need done and who to get to do it for you.
  • Sf Sf on Jan 24, 2017
    Frankly, you're 81 years old and that downsizing will be hard for you. I agree with someone up above. Get a realtor to help you. A good realtor will find a contractor who can move your things out, paint, do everything you need to do. Throw some money at the problem and move on.
  • Sf Sf on Jan 24, 2017
    And P.S. don't call the numbers people are putting on here. Get someone close to home who you know.
  • Joanne Joanne on Jan 25, 2017
    1. Depends on your funds$$ .. a good neighbor will usually help you.

    2. Call your local high school they may have a "Honors Society" or another "service club" with responsible high school students.
    They are often required to do free services in the community for school credits. But they do not often know of someone in need unless you ask. They can pack boxes and move furniture with some direction from you and a teacher or parent. The painting should be left to a mature adult with a little experience.

    3. A younger retired neighbor would also be helpful with painting.

    4.. Habitat for humanity may find you a couple of retired volunteers to help you in many ways.
    4. Chamber of Commerce in your area could help you locate the right helpers within the community maybe a Rotary club.
    Lots of business men and women volunteer their time to help. Trust your self and it will all work out, but any of these ideas could get you going in the right direction.
    Don't be afraid to contact all of them . It will be a big job for anyone and I know each one of the above groups do it for free .... it is called lending a helping hand to seniors. It is a community service it is not a handout. Also a good idea a church member any church member even if you do not have a special church, they will get the word out you need help. I wish you the very best and hope your future is bright.
  • Ella Frierson Bond Ella Frierson Bond on Feb 01, 2017
    The idea about a good realtor is the best . They want the commission and will do the best for you. I am your age and have my house on the market now.

  • I agree with all the other commentators declutter and get with your realtor they can help you with freshening up your home to prepare it for sale they can even provide people to help you do that.
  • Liz Straughn Liz Straughn on Feb 27, 2017
    I agree! Don't call any of the numbers given. You never know what kind of scammers will take everything. Call a realtor, the Boy Scouts in your area, a church in your area, etc. The scouts and a church would welcome a nominal donation for some work...the things you can't do, like heavy lifting and painting. You need to pack up your personal items. Tell your kids that you are giving away some things and if they want any of it, to show up. Otherwise, they won't get anything. It's amazing how many will show up if they know a family heirloom might be given away! Ha! That's a good way to give your things to the family members who want something specific. If they ask you to hold something for them, tell them, "No. If you want it, you need to come this weekend to get it." Also, that's a good way to get them there to work!
  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 06, 2017
    many small boxes, a few medium, and large boxes for the light and fluffy stuff. I had a lifting restriction of 5 lbs the first time i relocated to a new house. have a for family auction w/ your kids. boy scouts have to do a community service project for one of their badges- see if a few are available to help pack. when i sold the last house, it had a weird floor plan. i left just enough furniture to show how that space was workable- retrieved it b/4 closing. I also hate moving and rearranging furniture in a new place. i used graph paper and got the measurements of the rooms from the realtor, plotted out on graph paper, measured my furniture and cut out mini shapes -rectangle for couch, square for chairs ect. when the movers unpacked, the furniture landed in the right spots. haven't had to rearrange a thing.
  • Jacyne Jacyne on Jul 22, 2021

    I agree with many of the posters. Get a company with a good reputation on doing Estate sales or even an auctioneer that specializes in Estate sales. You have gorgeous furniture and would do well with either of these types of business with selling your furniture etc. But do your homework, before you hire someone. They can help you the best I would think. Best wishes and good luck.